Afghani father sells 9-yr-old daughter to old man to feed family

A financially constrained father is compelled to sell his 9-year-old daughter as a bride to a 55-year-old man to feed his family of eight.

Facing a financial crisis, Abdul Malik was forced to sell his daughter, Parwana, as a bride to a 55-year-old man in an exchange of one lakh sixty-three thousand rupees (2 lakh Afghani). “I have no work, no money, no food. I have to sell my daughter, I have no other choice,” the devastated father Malik explained his ordeal to CNN.

In CNN’s documentary of suffering Afghan refugees, Parwana who dreams of going to school and becoming a teacher can be seen applying makeup and dressing up like others her age. She is a free-spirited 9-year-old. “My father has sold me because we don’t have bread, rice, and flour. He has sold me to an old man,” she says. Although she is aware of her sale, she is unprepared for what is to come her way.

The CNN documentary by Anna Coren captures the whole episode of the exchange. The man who claims to be 55 years old comes to the place where the family resides, with the amount decided upon for the exchange. “This is your bride take care of her,” says the father. The man promises to do so as he drags her away from her family despite her resistance.

Malik is an internally displaced Afghan refugee, who moved to a makeshift camp with his family in the deserted Badghi, four years ago after he lost his job. The family lived on humanitarian aid and menial work, earning 4 dollars a day, which was also lost after the Taliban took over in August 2021.

A number of Afghan refugees are being forced to sell their young daughters in exchange for money to fill the stomachs of the rest of the family. They live with the hope that they will be fed and taken care of and will not need to starve to death like the others.